Driveway gates are available in a range of types, designed and constructed from various materials. Gates are perhaps the only security feature that can simultaneously deter burglars whilst being a beautiful and elegant asset to your property. There are many factors to take into consideration when selecting entrance gates, and our installers will advise you when surveying your property. However, read our guide to help you decide which style of gate would be ideal for your property.
The majority of driveway security gates for residential properties in the UK are of the standard double opening type, made from many different materials including vinyl and glass, but the predominant choice in the UK remains wood and various types of metal.
Here are some of the main benefits and drawbacks of different types of material:
Metal gates: Metal is very durable and strong with incredible results. Traditional iron gates are now frequently replaced with aluminium and steel gates. Aluminium gates are much cheaper and lighter; however, they are considerably less aesthetically pleasing than iron gates. Steel is more aesthetically pleasing and is more durable than aluminium, however still a lot less durable than iron.
Wooden gates: The performance and price of the gate will depend on what type of wood it is made from. Cedar and other softwoods, such as pine, are often used as they are comparatively cheap, attractive, weather-resistant, have bug-repellent qualities and are not prone to woodworm. Gates made from oak, beech and other types of hardwood gates are more expensive but are extremely hardwearing and have an incomparable look and feel.
The weight of the gates: Be careful not to choose a gate based on its weight, thinking that it will be longer lasting and provide higher levels of security. A gate has to be hung on a post or wall, and if it is too heavy, it could well cause damage to its hinges and need to be repaired. If you are planning on an automatic gate, weight is even more important as a gate that is too heavy could easily malfunction. If you are unsure of the maximum weight for your driveway, contact Shutter Spec Security for professional advice.
Electric gates: There are many advantages to electric gates. They offer additional protection and security for you and your family, they are great at keeping unauthorised vehicles from using your driveway as a turning circle and they are extremely convenient - you don’t have to get out the car and physically open the gate in order to gain entry.
Think about the needs of the people who will use your gate:
The final decision about the material will come down to your individual preferences; whether you love the look of natural wood or prefer an ornate wrought-iron gate. There are several factors which may sway your decision: the impression you want to give to immediate neighbours, visitors and passers-by. You may live in a neighbourhood where a high-security, crime-deterring steel gate may be ideal; however, if you live in a leafy suburb and want something less austere, a timber gate may suit your needs better.
If installing electric gates, you will also need to consider which type of access control system will serve your needs the best. If you expect a high number of people to pass through your gates each day, for example, if you operate a B and B, a system with a voice intercom may offer a more personal approach to visitors. If your property is only used by private residents, individual key fobs may work best.
Consider the landscape of your property:
Physical features such as the length of a driveway and the traffic on the road outside can affect what type of gate you choose.
Sliding gates: These are the largest and heaviest type of gate – they are also the most dangerous and least suitable for domestic properties. Sliding gates need to be installed where there is room for them to be enough distance from busy streets or roads.
Swing gates: These are the most popular option for domestic properties, however not always appropriate. When a building is situated on a slope, for example, the swinging motion of a gate will be impeded.
There are certainly many considerations to take into account when choosing the right gate. Other factors include:
Space: Do you have enough space for a swinging gate and would an external or internal swinging gate work better?
Electric or manual? Electric is more convenient but does require maintenance.
Style: Your gate and fence need to match your overall house design and architectural features. Ultimately you need to consider all the features on your property and how best the gate will complement these, especially if you would like your gates to add value to your home.
For more information about driveway security gates, contact Shutter Spec Security for a free no-obligation quote.